Birth certificates

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#1
Louisiana
5 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Ok anyone know what kind of birth certificate size and seal requirements for the carnival cruise line. I'm getting mixed reviews from the travel agency and the cruise line and past cruisers. Help?!
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#2
SoCal
10,146 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by MommaET
Ok anyone know what kind of birth certificate size and seal requirements for the carnival cruise line. I'm getting mixed reviews from the travel agency and the cruise line and past cruisers. Help?!
From what I've read, it just has to be a birth certificate (government issued one, not the pretty, hospital one).

Apparently Carnival seems to also accept photocopies of said document, not only the official one with whatever is used to notate that it's official (raised seal, embossed paper, signed statement that it's official - it varies from state to state).
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21 Cruises, 13 ships, 202 nights

#3
Louisiana
5 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Thank you. Anyone from Louisiana who has experience with this please help!


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#4
5,936 Posts
Joined May 2010
Raised seal!!

I'd apply for a passport. With all that's happened over the last few weeks............one would be needed to fly home from a foreign port in case of emergency.
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#5
Louisiana
5 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
I'm thinking about just doing the passport to be safe! Seems I can't get a safe answer


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#6
upstate new york
19 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Ocean Dancer
Raised seal!!



I'd apply for a passport. With all that's happened over the last few weeks............one would be needed to fly home from a foreign port in case of emergency.


Yes , raised seal and government issued ,e.g. State of ,county of, city of , if it's a hospital birth certificate and you've used it your whole life for other things , you can't use it to get on the ship . best advice is to get a passport just like everybody else in the world who travel to foreign countries .


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#7
New Jersey
1,091 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
There are no size requirements for a birth certificate, some states now issue them on a credit card sized form. What is required is that it is the birth certificate issue by the department of vital statistics or the health department. Also accepted is a consulate report of birth abroad.
As for security measures they must be evident even if the BC is a copy. Not all states use a seal and the ones that do not all of them use a raised seal. Other forms of security measures are tri-color ink like on currency, special watermarks, embedded holograms, or raised ink borders with micro writing.
Remember the BC must also be legible, some older BCs are from microfilm and when printed did so as a negative, white writing on a black background. Well after multiple years the black ink starts to flake away making the letters indistinct. In that case or where the the one in your possession may be worn ordering a replacement before leaving is a good idea.
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#8
Texas
890 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by Shmoo here
From what I've read, it just has to be a birth certificate (government issued one, not the pretty, hospital one).

Apparently Carnival seems to also accept photocopies of said document, not only the official one with whatever is used to notate that it's official (raised seal, embossed paper, signed statement that it's official - it varies from state to state).
Contact the County Clerk for the county you were born in. Request/order an official copy of your birth certificate (if you cannot go in person, you might have to send in a notarized request). As others have said, each state may be different. Some use raised seals, some have paper with official watermarks (or hidden watermarks that will show "void" if you try to copy), etc. It is not that hard. Suggest ordering multiple copies. Whenever we get down to one copy of our birth certificate or marriage certificate, I make sure to get a few more copies before I need them.
#10
452 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
As stated I would get a passport in case u need to fly from port outside US.
With that said I have used a bc before. If you live in the state that you were born in you can likely go to the local county Health Center to get a legal copy printed on site. Or in Missouri you can. I believe last I did it was $10 but that was several years ago.
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#11
Arlington, Virginia
2,639 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
The birth certificate that you would need to obtain a passport is the same one you would need to do a closed loop cruise in the Caribbean.
#12
Yonkers, NY
123 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by lake effect
Yes , raised seal and government issued ,e.g. State of ,county of, city of , if it's a hospital birth certificate and you've used it your whole life for other things , you can't use it to get on the ship . best advice is to get a passport just like everybody else in the world who travel to foreign countries .
Not everyone in the world uses passports. False Statement.

Originally posted by Shmoo here
Apparently Carnival seems to also accept photocopies of said document, not only the official one with whatever is used to notate that it's official (raised seal, embossed paper, signed statement that it's official - it varies from state to state).
If I were you, I wouldn't rely on photocopies. It would suck to get to the Check-In counter and be denied boarding.

From U.S. Customs And Border Protection website:
"U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born) or passport, and if 16 or older, a government issued driver's license, picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth."


I have been on 10 cruises since 2007, and have always used my Birth Certificate and NY State issued Driver's License. Be careful of what you read on this board, there are some that will steer you wrong, by guessing, or assuming, or just plain being anal.


And yes, if you have to fly in to the states in case of an emergency from a foreign country, a passport will make it smoother, but you can still get back in the country without one. This is a fact that I know.
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#13
SoCal
10,146 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by kc58ab
As stated I would get a passport in case u need to fly from port outside US.
With that said I have used a bc before. If you live in the state that you were born in you can likely go to the local county Health Center to get a legal copy printed on site. Or in Missouri you can. I believe last I did it was $10 but that was several years ago.
Um... no.

The birth certificate is supposed to be the government-issued one (from county or state), not the pretty, scrapbook-ready one issued from the hospital.

Originally posted by MasterMason
...


If I were you, I wouldn't rely on photocopies. It would suck to get to the Check-In counter and be denied boarding.

From U.S. Customs And Border Protection website:
"U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born) or passport, and if 16 or older, a government issued driver's license, picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth."


....
I have a passport, but, there are many who travel with birth certificates and photo ID.


I'm only reporting what I've read here from people who've "tested" the waters and used a photocopy of the birth certificate. The Carnival website says:
Also acceptable for cruise travel (for cruises that begin and end in a U.S port), U.S. citizens can show proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate issued by a government agency and accompanied by a government-issued photo I.D.


and...


Birth Certificate Information

The following are acceptable:
  • An original or copy of a birth certificate issued by a government agency (state/county/city) or the Department of Health and Vital Statistics
  • A clear, legible copy of a birth certificate that was originally issued by a government agency (state/county/city) or the Department of Health and Vital Statistics. The copy does not need to be notarized or certified.
https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/category/~/travel-documentation-and-online-check-in/~/travel-documents/c/406
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21 Cruises, 13 ships, 202 nights

#14
Enosburg Falls, VT
17,781 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by MasterMason
Not everyone in the world uses passports. False Statement.



If I were you, I wouldn't rely on photocopies. It would suck to get to the Check-In counter and be denied boarding.

From U.S. Customs And Border Protection website:
"U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born) or passport, and if 16 or older, a government issued driver's license, picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth."


I have been on 10 cruises since 2007, and have always used my Birth Certificate and NY State issued Driver's License. Be careful of what you read on this board, there are some that will steer you wrong, by guessing, or assuming, or just plain being anal.


And yes, if you have to fly in to the states in case of an emergency from a foreign country, a passport will make it smoother, but you can still get back in the country without one. This is a fact that I know.
The CBP website doesn't clearly address the issue, which is a shame because the DHS regulations do say that a birth certificate can be an "original or copy". As one who has "tested the waters" I can say with certainty that a photocopy is acceptable because that is what I presented for our 2012 Pride cruise and no one batted an eye at it. That said it is best to bring the original if you can because you would undoubtedly need that if you did need to elicit help from the State Department in returning home, but it is good to keep in mind what all of the alternatives are just in case. I have read of many cruises that were saved because a birth certificate was faxed to the port.
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#15
GA
82 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Regarding photocopies, I sailed last November with a photocopy of mine and my husband's birth certificates with no problem. I had the originals with me just in case, but I didn't have to use them.
#16
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,351 Posts
Joined May 2001
As long as the BC came from the Dept. of Vital Records, it's accepted. No worries! The thing from the hospital is the "record of live birth", and that's what's used to obtain the Birth Certificate.

Not all BC's have a "raised seal" anymore...and they look different from different states.
#17
New Mexico
218 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
My SO has a passport but decided not to renew before the cruise. It expires in less than four months and we leave in a couple of days. I hope the 6 month rule is not an issue for him!!
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amyotravel

#18
VA
14,661 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by amyotravel
My SO has a passport but decided not to renew before the cruise. It expires in less than four months and we leave in a couple of days. I hope the 6 month rule is not an issue for him!!
It's not an issue for a normal Caribbean cruise. I sailed last month and mine expires in October. No one batted an eyelash.
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#20
VA
14,661 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by amyotravel
Awesome. Hopefully no storm forces him to fly back from a port that gets testy about it!!
I think it's mostly for entering a Country, not coming back to the US. So as long as he's coming home, I don't foresee an issue. But then again, I've never had that happen so I can't be for sure.
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